Insomnia – Natural Help
As a GP I often get asked about insomnia. This may be short- or long-term.
For many people, insomnia is a transient thing while they are going through extreme stress, such as bereavement or divorce. I used to suffer from lack of sleep myself, and when my job was most stressful I would wake several times per night for months, worrying about the staff or the practice, or complaints. I combatted this through healing and meditation, but there are other ways.
Click here for an excellent patient leaflet on insomina from the patient.co.uk website:
Some simple things that you can do to reduce your insomnia are:
Reduce caffeine-containing drinks, especially at night
Reduce alcohol in take and stop any street drugs
Do not smoke in the 6 hours leading up to bed – time
Exercise well earlier in the day, but exercising in the few hours before sleep can interfere with sleep.
Do not have a heavy evening meal
Recognise your diurnal rhythm, recognise when you are tired in the evening & follow your instinct, but try not to sleep during the day.
Ensure that your bedroom is a calm, relaxing place to be. Too much clutter can interfere with your energy, too stuffy and you will not be able to breathe clearly, and don’t have a television in the room.
Relaxation techniques can be helpful – they were extremely effective for me (see below). Learn to relax at yoga classes, buy a relaxation CD (see the CD pages of my NHP website, https://www.thenaturallyhealthypet.com/categories/20070910_2) or contact other sources such as the Brahma Kumaris (www.brahmakumaris.org.uk/).
CBT can be helpful – there are insufficient therapists available for demand, but you can do CBT yourself from your computer using Moodgym ( https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/) or Livinglifetothefull (https://www.livinglifetothefull.com/).
Drugs are unhelpful except in the very short term for extreme stress, such as bereavement. All hypnotics (sleeping tablets) are addictive, even the new ones, sometimes even within a week of starting taking them. Antidepressants such as amitriptyline can help with sleep at very low doses, without that same addictive potential. If you are considering medication, talk to your own doctor.
Since I started doing Spiritual Healing and meditation, however, sleeping is no longer a problem. Even if I do wake up and worry, I know I can (and do) push the concern away until a more appropriate time, and I get back to sleep within 1-2 minutes.
I know many people will not believe this, but meditation and self-hypnosis really do work.
First of all you need to understand that you choose whether to be stressed or not. This may sound far-fetched, but when I get stressed now I stop to consider at what point I am making that choice. Once you realise that you have a choice, you can take steps to change the way you think about things. This can be helped by NLP (neurolinguistic programming), hypnosis and hypnotherapy, and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
In order to stop worrying (when you are aware that you are worrying excessively about something) you need to find some way of distancing yourself from the worry. For me I find that putting the worrying situation or relationship into a pleasant hotel room full of healing and peace, and throwing away the key, allows me to focus elsewhere. An alternative is to place the worry onto a cloud in your imagination, and watch it drifting away to leave you with a good night’s sleep. Some people have a “worry pot” with a lid – they write the worries down onto a slip of paper and put it in the worry pot until their once weekly time for lookign through the worries. Often some of the worries do not then seem so major. Some people burn the slip of paper, or put it in the freezer. The trick is to keep trying out techniques until you have found one that works for you.
And don’t forget the deep breathing! This is essential in allowing your muscles and whole body to relax. I find it effective in any stressful situation, and within 3 -6 deep breaths I am usually asleep at night.
Anyway, that is enough for one week! Meanwhile, post a reply on the comment form below the blog post with any tips that you would like to share to help with relaxation and insomnia.
Until next time, keep naturally healthy!
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